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snow

New England is home, my place.  Four seasons roughly three months apiece.  I enjoy each, and the expectation of each each season's constancy is a given.  ( But Laura says: "we broke the weather.")  Because winter as we know it - delivering an average of 6-feet of snow -- almost never came this year. And it definitely wasn't on time.

Waiting and expecting and wondering if it would ever snow again. November was cold and snowless, and then December and January came and went, and still no white on the ground. (Christmas lights without snow look all wrong in New England.)  I just about lost faith, when it finally arrived 3 months behind schedule -- on February 2nd.  I was in Royalston playing up at the Open Mic stage and drove home in a wild-snow storm.  (There was a danger to it, but I was delighted - and used caution, sometimes.)

The snow was like that gift that should have come two weeks before Christmas, but it put a funk on everything because it never arrived.  It was lost in the back of the UPS barn, until someone finally stumbled on it and got it delivered - way late.

That storm primed the pump and the snows have come again and again. A relief yes, and for a while the world was right again. The ground was finally covered with the thick white blanket with its long blue shadows, under the the low-pitched sun. Even in the middle of a moon-less night the snow illumines. Magical winter night light, from the ground up, instead of the other way around.

But in fact everything is still shifted late, and so it's all off.   (On the day of the vernal equinox I was cross-country skiing in the backwoods, while listening to spring birds singing.  Strangely beautiful, but seasonally wrong.  As I said, it's all off. Fortunately, it's warming and melting fast, with rains and winds blowing up, carrying the returning birds.

But when the snows were deep, my mind looked across the opposite horizon, recalling summer -- the 4-hour drive to the ocean, the tip of the Cape.  That's when I put that picture of last summer up on my homepage - Herring Cove, the National Seashore  - the lovely jewel that is Provincetown.   A highlight of our visits to Provincetown is to have the chance to see again the lovely person, Hilary Bamford, a woman of many talents, one of which is  that she is the host and DJs a terrific and popular folk show on WOMR (Outer Cape Community Radio, 92.1 FM).   I think it was my fourth time on her show.  We had a great time and like all great times, it moved by too fast.   If you get the chance, take a peek at the photos of Hilary and the Cape and others at my site.  (I love taking pictures!)
Thank you for visiting and reading.  Reading is good.
"Only connect." (E.M. Forster)

-Francis

p.s.  many thanks to Deb and Nadia and Debra and Thea for giving me some answers, and a helping hand (and sympathy for me with my confusion about this dang myspace thing!) all of which got me on my feet and on the path to this myspace place.)    March 20007


Hilary Bamford - WOMR
WOMR interview and performance
14" of new snow and temperatures going to 10F tonight.  Winter has come  and come late.  The mourning doves are cooing which is my reminder to start the garden up, inside the house, and so I have.  Plantted tomatoe seeds, lettuce, cauliflower, swiss chard.  It's a seasonal act of faith and hope.    March 19, 2007





Blog:  July 23, 2006
Unbelievably, last week a tornado ripped through our town.  It was terrifying, awesome, impressive, and even (to some eyewitnesses) strangely beautiful --  and not a common weather experience  for us.   (But what's "common" anymore?)

Alas,  the many wrecked and killed trees.  (Who knows the tally of injury and loss of life to the inhabitants of these wild-lands, those who bring us untold benefits and joys, in lieu of taxes?)  On the people side, miraculously no one was hurt.   Some vehicles were flattened, power was out, and houses and barns were damaged.   The one assumed  fatality was Bob's goat, but it was in fact rescued from the rubble! --  although his barn was completely flattened.  





Blog:  July 10, 2006
It's been a couple of weeks since  getting back home and settled after my  tour  to Maine (and New Hampshire) at the end of June.  The Maine Rain Forest (formerly "Maine") -- they tell me that it has finally stopped raining -- and the serial Pekingnese Killer that wasn't.  We had a blast, Laura and I.  First stop was visiting a friend made through the music, Chris Darling -- lovely person,  talented, with a deep and ever-growing knowledge of the music scene, folk and beyond.  We're all lucky to have him in the folk music family.  He's a great  DJ at  WMPG, and so much more!   I think it was my third visit to the station.  We had a great time -- he  took some photos  -- a couple here, including one at arms length of Chris and me.  He'd hop out of the booth while I was playing and snap a few. 

Definitely go check out the photos .   After Chris's show, we headed down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire where I met up with Shawn Henderson, DJ at WSCA,  for an in-studio interview and performance.    ...Read more at my  BLOG.....After Chris's show, we headed down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire where I met up with Shawn Henderson, DJ at WSCA,  for an in-studio interview and performance, on his show "Stay Tuned".    Such a pleasure to meet Shawn -- another hero in the music scene, hard-working and dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts,  on so many fronts:  radio, television, the web, and directing the Kennebunk Coffeehouse.  Shawn is amazing.   I felt an immediate connection with this wonderful man with that great radio voice! -- and I look forward to crossing paths again and again.  (The rain stopped and he sun even came out when we got there -- A Sign!)


Later we drove north and hooked up with our generous host, Larrain -- and her two memorable Pekingese.  No leghold traps or serial killers were about in the dampy woods -- it was just  a spontaneous  party with porcupines (naturally they hang out with friends their own height, just different hair-style).  And so (as I was told) they happily barked all night.  (My sleep was undeterred, but... I can only speak for myself.)  Those Pekingese, they keep their own counsel.  Billy Collins wrote a poem entitled: "Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House."   The neighbors dog will not stop barking...

Three more days and nights and three shows -- each went so well, and it was a pleasure to meet so many nice, generous and friendly people.  Open doors and open arms, good cheer and nice connections, all along the way.

E.M. Forster distilled it down to two words, and that's my motto:
"...only connect."

Kat Logan, host of Maine Street Art  -- they don't make people any lovelier than her -- a supporter of so many art forms, and an artist herself.  She has put together  a real cozy venue, a lot of nice touches.  It reminded me of a long ago memory of being at the charming and  famous, (now gone), Sword and the Stone Coffeehouse in Boston's Beacon Hill.

Every venue provided food and it was all great.   I don't like to pick favorites so I will call it a tie, that is, the dinners at McMahon's Rockport Grille and at Slates Restaurant on Sunday night and Monday, respectively.   The food was fantastic, and it was only superceded by the helpful, attentive and friendly hosts.  Thank you  McMahon's Mathew and Colleen Ingraham, and also floor manager, Christine and I bow to the kitchen help who were cheering me on.   You've got to check out this place -- great food, supporting the arts, and also the architecture will knock you over:  big, light-filled, airy, beautiful post-and-beam.  

Slates' reputation is so well-deserved -- I can only feebly try to augment what I'm sure has been said before.   The ambiance and the distinct charm of each room, and the overall layout: enchanting, perfect. You can tell there's a lot of history there.  Those rooms have embraced a lot of people -- good times and happiness reverberate thorughout Slates Restaurant, indeed.   Thank you Wendy for having me there, and thank you Katie for including me in your wonderful music series -- it was my honor and pleasure all the way.
But my special thanks goes to Slates' soundman Brad Truman:
cheerful, knowledgeable and extremely helpful, before  during and after the show. Brad, you rock!

 One gentleman came up to me after one of the shows,  we shook hands -- his words came out  British, and he told me that he was a bouncer for the Rolling Stones.  
You just never know who is in the audience.   We gossiped about Keith Richards, which reminded me of a funny story I heard Garnet Rogers tell in May about Keith, but that's for him to tell, not me.

...Oh and there was one other completely unplanned gig arranged by Dan Plumer (12 years old) at a new venue on Tuesday morning, and I'll fill you in on that soon enough.


Thank you for reading.  Stay healthy -- be good.  Drop a line  when you can.  




that's Chris on the left








 
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